On Tuesday, an anonymous Twitter user posted messages threatening to shoot Black students at Kean University. This occurred while a rally to raise awareness of racial unrest at college campuses was being held at Kean University and nationwide in response to the University of Missouri incidents.
User @keanuagainstblk posted a series of tweets: “kean university twitter against blacks is for everyone who hates blacks people” and “i will kill every black male and female at kean university,” including a message warning of a bomb on campus.
The university responded: “We are profoundly troubled by this display of hatred which does not reflect in any way the values we hold sacred on our diverse campus… Campus police took immediate action to pursue the identity of the individual(s) responsible for the threatening tweets, notifying the Department of Homeland Security, state, county and local municipalities, and providing heightened security on campus.”
Although the Twitter account has since been suspended, hate-filled acts of racial terrorism nationwide cannot be tolerated on campuses, within our workplaces, in our places of worship and throughout our communities.
The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to working with individuals and organizations to educate and empower leaders to eliminate hate. Incidences such as this increase our awareness of the importance of standing up against hate in all forms. Our vision is to make our schools, workplaces and communities a better place for all of us — not just some of us. We encourage people of goodwill to not sit on the sidelines and watch things happen or even ponder over what just happened. We have a shared responsibility in making sure that we engage in courageous conversations and take bold actions to value and respect people of all races, religions and cultures.
Kean University is our longtime Higher Education partner and was our 2014 Diversity Issues in Higher Education conference host. On Nov. 6, we held our 2015 annual conference and focused on moving beyond words toward positive action. Kean University Director of Affirmative Action Programs Charlie Williams was a moderator and member of the event planning committee. He reminded us that it is important for all of us — students, faculty, working professionals, political and community leaders — to maintain an interactive and constructive dialogue on issues of race, diversity and ideological differences. How these matters impact access and inclusion, either directly or perceptually, are fundamental to addressing the challenges faced today. Although key decision-makers and leaders are trusted with the responsibility and mandate to both mitigate and effectuate change, as a community we should all do our part in meeting these challenges.